For seniors with disabilities, a service dog might be the answer. “The Americans With Disabilities Act of 2011, defines service dogs as those trained to do work related to the person’s disability. Emotional Support dogs or Guard Dogs are excluded in the definition. The service dog is expected to always accompany the disabled senior.” The service dog is also trained to stay calm in all situations.
A service dog’s skills include opening a door with a strap, pushing the door closed, helping their owner dress and undress, helping wheelchair bound seniors to sit up straight, place feet and arms on footrests and armrests, preventing falls and retrieving walkers and wheelchairs. For emergencies, the dogs are trained to retrieve medicines, dial 911, open the door for first responders, and running for help while barking.
For the hearing-impaired seniors, the dog alerts the owner of any other person in the immediate area, retrieve dropped items, carry messages, and warn of any unseen on-coming vehicles. For visually impaired seniors, the dog warns of any dangerous objects, warns of an on-coming vehicle, warns of a change in elevation (stairs and curbs), locating objects on command and picks up dropped items.